AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 41b

October 9, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Introducing AV8OR™ from Bendix/King by Honeywell
The AV8OR is the portable and affordable GPS built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR uses aviation software and symbology pilots understand. Its 4.3-inch touch screen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, go online.
NBAA Safety Committee Has Its Eye on VLJs back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

NBAA Proposes Changes In VLJ Pilot Training

While the crowds at this week's NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., are busy out on the convention floor and on the flight line checking out all the latest and greatest technology, a lot is also going on in the meeting rooms, as movers and shakers get together to discuss issues of importance to the industry. One of the groups that met in Orlando was NBAA's Safety Committee, and this week the committee said it will revise its guidelines for training pilots of very light jets. Changes will attempt to address the basic instrument proficiency lacking in some prospective VLJ pilots, the committee said. Also, efforts will be made to better define training outcomes, to explain the concept of "personal minimums" and to address the unique challenges of operating into airports with short runways and inhospitable nearby terrain. The committee said it will work with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and others to produce a rewrite of the training guidelines by the end of this year.

The guidelines also may be applicable to single-pilot certified aircraft other than VLJs that share similar levels of automation. The committee said it will also work with the FAA to update the agency's advisory circular on how to plan for sporting events that draw large numbers of aircraft, in an effort to enhance safety at smaller airports not accustomed to handling a large number of aircraft in a short period of time.

Rapco Dry Air Vacuum/Pressure Pumps Available at Aircraft Spruce
Rapco Pumps are FAA/PMA-approved as a direct replacement part. All models have cooling fins, offering increased life in a hot engine environment and an inspection port to determine pump replacement. Two-year warranty, unlimited hours, no core charge on new pumps, and manufacturer's rebate on old core. Order now and receive a $50 Aircraft Spruce gift card with Rapco purchases over $750. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
NBAA Convention '08 Comes to an End back to top 

NBAA 2008 Wrap-Up: Attendance Numbers Slip Slightly

Click for images from the show

Attendance at the National Business Aviation Association's 61st convention in Orlando this week was down marginally according to early attendance figures released Wednesday. NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard said 30,164 people attended the show, down about 600 from last year. "It's 2 percent," NBAA President Ed Bolen told AVweb. "This was a solid show."

There was also a notable absence of major sales announcements (Hawker Beechcraft's $200 million sale to Líder Signatures S.A. notwithstanding) by manufacturers but that doesn't mean airplanes weren't changing hands. Booth workers AVweb spoke with said sales were happening and deals were being made. As for the attendance drop, some speculated that companies trimmed their attendance numbers but still sent senior staff to the show.

Click here to view photos.

Related Content:

NEW! Zulu with Panel Power!
With the new Zulu: P (Panel Power) headset, Lightspeed has raised the bar in performance, comfort and crystal-clear audio quality, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset — and no batteries needed! The Zulu: P uses the same LEMO plug that a Bose headset uses. The Zulu: P also comes with built-in Bluetooth. No one else offers this much in a total headset package. Click here for more information.
The Uncertain Economy back to top 

Airline Pilots Face Market Turmoil

First it was zooming fuel prices, now it's volatile financial markets, and as the airlines scramble to survive, pilots are finding their work lives in turmoil. Mesa Air Group this week cut 150 pilot jobs, most of them from Delta routes that were operated by Mesa. Meanwhile, as Delta and Northwest work toward a merger, pilots can't agree on how to merge their seniority lists. In Milwaukee, pilots from Midwest Airlines took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the outsourcing of new jobs flying regional jets to non-union pilots. And in Chicago this week, the union representing United Air Lines pilots was in court, as the airline sought to force union leaders to behave as tensions build over a pilot pay dispute. And pilots for Sun Country Airlines, a regional carrier in the Twin Cities, can expect to see their salaries cut by 50 percent while the airline struggles to survive bankruptcy. The airline's management has told employees they will be repaid next year.

Air Taxi Efforts Move Forward In Virginia

Despite some discouraging news lately for those hoping to develop a next-generation air taxi system -- such as the recent demise of DayJet -- some upbeat news came along this week when the Virginia SATSLab (VSATS), in partnership with the Air Taxi Association (ATXA), officially launched VirginiaAirTaxi.com, a new on-demand online flight reservations system. Besides allowing travelers to book on-demand flights instantly, the site features information about the industry, commonly used air taxi aircraft, FAQs, and a detailed directory of Virginia airports. Operators may be added to the system in as little as one business day. "Virginia has always been at the forefront of accelerating next-generation aviation," said Keith McCrea, executive director of VSATS. "This Web site will help foster community airport utilization across the 64 local airports throughout the Commonwealth."

ATXA is demonstrating the system this week in its booth at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. "In launching VirginiaAirTaxi.com, Virginia has taken a leading role in creating public awareness about on-demand flights from their local airports onward to wherever they need to go," said Joe Leader, president of ATXA. "This opens an opportunity for every community airport to have direct flights to hundreds of destinations. These on-demand, direct flights will be a driver of economic development to communities across the state." ATXA is an alliance of next-generation air taxi providers that offer direct, on-demand flight service. VSATS is a public-private partnership whose mission is to research, develop and implement safe and accessible aviation technologies that promote economic development in Virginia.

Win a Brand-New Ford Mustang GT Convertible!!!
Every Genuine Factory Engine purchased from Air Power, Inc. between September 8, 2008 and July 20, 2009 automatically is entered to win a Brand New Ford Mustang GT Convertible! For official rules and details, visit Air Power online at the web site FactoryEngines.com or call Air Power at (888) 759-4295.

Don't forget: Air Power's First-Ever, Zero-Down Factory Engine Financing makes it easier than ever to get the Factory Engine you've always wanted!
News Briefs back to top 

Site Of Fossett Wreckage Snowed In, Investigation Continues

The site of Steve Fossett's crash, above 10,000 feet in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was covered in about two feet of snow over the weekend, and officials said they will probably not be able to return to the site until next summer. However, the NTSB already had retrieved the wreckage and the engine of the Decathlon that Fossett was flying, and the investigation will continue. "A revised report and a determination of probable cause will be issued upon completion of the investigation," the NTSB said. Several bone fragments found at the site have been sent to a lab to see if they can be identified as a match for Fossett. One of the searchers, who has posted some photos of the recovery effort online, said he was "amazed" by how thoroughly the site had been cleaned of debris. "Only a few pieces about the size of a silver dollar or smaller" remained, he said.

"Any Lookie Loos hoping to get there and find something to sell on eBay will be sorely disappointed," he added. An NTSB meteorologist is now compiling weather data from the area for the day of Fossett's disappearance, looking for evidence of high winds, turbulence or other weather conditions that could have been a factor, according to The Associated Press. A thunderstorm was reportedly in the area around the time of Fossett's disappearance. The board will also search for any trace of Fossett's airplane on radar records. Officials said the area where the wreck was found had been flown over several times by aerial search teams, but to no avail. The first evidence of the crash was discovered by a hiker on Sept. 29, roughly one-quarter mile from the crash site.

Airline Crews In Trouble Over YouTube Videos

For years, airline crews have lobbied against requests from safety advocates for video in the cockpit, but now it seems that some crews have shot their own videos and posted them on YouTube. The FAA and Horizon Air confirmed to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that they are investigating possible cockpit violations in which pilots allowed personal electronic devices to be used to record takeoffs and landings. The trouble is that not only are such devices not supposed to be operating during that phase of flight, but the taping also might violate rules about sterile cockpits -- that is, when flying at less than 10,000 feet, no idle chatter or other distractions are allowed.

The HorizonAir YouTube video, which has recently been taken down, showed a takeoff from Boise and was apparently taken by somebody riding in the jumpseat, but Horizon Air spokeswoman Jen Boyer told the P-I that would still be unacceptable. "We have a very strict sterile cockpit policy, which includes jump seater," she said. HorizonAir is cooperating with the FAA in the investigation, she said.

Piper Matrix — Piper Compelling
Click here for more information on the new Matrix, Piper's next generation of cabin-class sophistication. Compellingly priced at $757,000.
News Briefs back to top 

FAA OK's Eight Additional Schools For ATC Training

FAA OKs Eight Additional Schools For ATC Training

The FAA has added eight schools to its list of colleges and universities approved to train students for careers as air traffic controllers. In the past five years, schools that are part of the FAA's CTI program -- the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative -- have graduated more than 4,000 students from their aviation programs. Three thousand of those graduates were hired by the FAA. The agency plans to hire more than 2,000 additional new controllers in fiscal year 2009. "These schools are an excellent jump start for a job in air traffic control," said Robert Sturgell, the FAA's acting administrator. "These institutions will give thousands of future controllers an inside track on a great career." The addition of the eight new schools increases the number of CTI schools to 31. All of the schools are accredited and offer a non-engineering aviation degree.

The eight new schools are: Aims Community College (Colorado), Broward Community College (Florida), Eastern New Mexico-Roswell (New Mexico), Embry Riddle-Prescott (Arizona), Jacksonville University (Florida), LeTourneau University (Texas), St. Cloud State University (Minnesota), and Tulsa Community College (Oklahoma).

"New" Wright B Flyer Unveiled

Well, product development is important--even if the design is almost 100 years old. The Wright "B" Flyer Inc. has built a new replica of the aircraft that "really introduced the country to aviation," said Amanda Wright Lane, great-grand-niece of Wilbur and Orville and trustee of the Dayton-based nonprofit group behind the project. The "Silver Bird" was on display at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando this week and its portability is one of its main features.

Wright Lane said the group already has a flying replica of the B model but it's hard (and expensive) to ship to airshows and conferences. The new one travels well and should be making the rounds of shows next year, after a first flight early next year, which is 100 years after the Wrights formed the Wright Company to produce military and civilian aircraft.

Precise Flight: Hidden in Plain Sight
With design capabilities as varied as the number of aircraft models available, it's easy to find at least one device manufactured by Precise Flight in the cabin, cockpit, or body of any aircraft on the market. In fact, integration is a key characteristic of Precise Flight's operating code. Learn more online.
New on AVweb back to top 

Vague Vectors

When the rules say to fly a procedure turn, ATC may have other ideas. Here's why you should stand your ground and do the right thing.

Click here for the full story.

Pilots and controllers rely on each other to communicate unambiguously, especially when working together to complete an instrument approach. The rules of the game are supposed to be clear, yet somehow pilots and controllers continue to clash when an aircraft is in position to join the final approach course straight-in without flying a published procedure-turn holding pattern. Are you being vectored or should you fly the hold entry?

There has apparently been so much confusion in this area that AOPA Air Safety Foundation created an online safety course devoted to unlocking the mystery. The course, "IFR Chart Challenge: VOR Approach," describes an incident that occurred on the VOR approach to Runway 34 at the Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster, Md., (DMW). The aircraft, a Cessna 182, was located southwest of the airport approaching the Westminster VOR (EMI) and had been cleared for the approach. The Potomac Approach controller issued the following instruction: "Cessna 611MS, 10 miles from Westminster. Proceed direct Westminster, maintain 3000 until established. Cleared VOR Runway 34 approach Westminster." At the time, the aircraft was located on the 190-degree radial, 10 miles southwest of EMI, heading 010 degrees at 3000 feet.

What would you have expected to do if you were in the left seat? (A) Perform the published course reversal; or (B) join the final approach course and continue straight in? If you chose answer (A), you are correct. The Skylane pilot did too, based on how he interpreted the ATC instructions. He chose to fly direct to EMI and executed the full approach with a direct entry to the holding pattern to get established on the final approach course. After making the course reversal turn and established on final outside the FAF, he expected to descend to the published 2900 feet.

This, however, is not what the controller expected. After the Skylane pilot made the turn to the outbound course, he got an earful and later alleged that the controller said, "I did not clear you for the procedure turn." This is a situation when the controller expected a certain reaction, but the pilot had other plans.

AIM 5-4-9 says that the holding pattern or procedure turn must be followed except when radar vectoring is provided or "NoPT" is depicted in the procedure. The Pilot/Controller Glossary defines "radar vectoring" as the "provision of navigational guidance to aircraft in the form of specific headings, based on the use of radar." The C182 was instructed to proceed direct to the VOR, not to fly a heading to join the final course.

A full investigation was launched with the Potomac TRACON after the pilot objected to the fact that the radar controller was upset with the pilot for making the procedure turn. The investigation proved the pilot correct, especially because he wasn't cleared to descend from his last assigned altitude of 3000 feet to the FAF altitude of 2900 feet. In addition, he hadn't heard "cleared straight-in" at any time from ATC.

ATC might clear a pilot for an approach when the pilot expects she will be getting vectors to final. A pilot might also believe she's cleared for a straight-in, especially if she's nearly aligned with the final course and at or near the FAF altitude.

Another source of confusion can occur when the controller instructs a pilot to intercept the final approach course outside the FAF and then makes the approach clearance and descent conditional on that intercept. In this situation, no course reversal is expected.

This was common in some locations before radar was installed, when a remote facility was directing the aircraft but did not have the capability to monitor the approach at the lower FAF altitude. It is obviously best to be sure both pilot and ATC are on the same page when conducting any instrument approach.

How can a pilot know what is the correct procedure? If ATC tells you, "This will be vectors for the [specified] approach," or "This will be vectors to final," or "Intercept the final approach course and fly it inbound," then you're cleared straight in.

However, if all you hear is, "Cleared for the approach," fly the full approach as published. If there's any doubt, query ATC to clear it up. The last thing any pilot wants in the cockpit is confusion when you are focused on making a successful instrument approach, especially if it may have to be flown to minimums. The exchange between pilot and controller has to be clear and concise. There's no room for not knowing the other guy's intentions.

More AVweb articles about flying in the IFR system are available here. And for monthly articles about IFR flying, subscribe to AVweb's sister publication, IFR Refresher.

// -->

AVweb Insider Blog: NBAA 2008 — A Collective Holding of Breath

AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli is at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention and trade show this week, where the gathering financial and credit crisis is Topic Number One (as it is in most other sectors). While he wouldn't describe the mood as "gloomy" (at least not as gloomy as in some of those other sectors), the word "spooked" does come to mind.

Read more.

AVweb Insider Blog: Making Believers of Light Jet Buyers

AAI Acquisitions showed up at this year's NBAA Convention to flog their revival of Adam Aircraft's A700 jet. Are they serious about getting it to market? AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli is having a hard time answering that question, but even if they are, he says, the window on new VLJ rollouts may be closing fast.

Read more.

Some of Aviation's Worst Accidents Have Happened on the Ground; Find Out Why
Refresh your skills and learn how to avoid runway incursions by taking advantage of the Air Safety Foundation's complimentary runway safety tools. ASF's online Runway Safety Interactive Course can be completed in less than an hour, and completion qualifies towards AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings Program. Plus, ASF's downloadable Runway Safety Flash Cards help pilots better understand runway signage and markings. Click for your runway safety tools.
We've Had Our Say; Now It's Your Turn back to top 

Question of the Week: General Aviation and the Troubled Economy

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we reported that Canadian company Vancouver Airport Services is taking over the operation of Chicago's Midway Airport and wondered if the implication of foreign operators and major U.S. airports was still perceived as a conflict of interest by AVweb readers.

There was no clear consensus among those who took a moment to participate in our poll, with answers running the gamut. The largest segment of respondents (accounting for 30% of those polled) said, Privatization might be a good thing, but Americans should run their own airports.

For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)


While the doors seemed to be falling off the global economy this week, we didn't see much evidence of hardship inside the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where the National Business Aviation Association held its annual convention and trade show. In fact, quite a few businesses seemed to have sunny outlooks for business aviation, at least for the forseeable future. But what about GA?

How will the current economic conditions affect general aviation?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

AVweb's NBAA Convention 2008 Video Round-Up

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

In case you missed any of our videos from the 2008 NBAA Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, you can watch all eight of them (plus two shorts you may find interesting) right here. Just use the arrows at the right and left sides of the player to choose your video.

Video coverage of the 2008 NBAA Convention & Trade Show has been brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

More AVweb exclusive videos can be found at http://www.avweb.com/video.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Go Green with Diamond: $1.99 Fuel
Buy a DA40 XLS between October 1 and November 30, 2008 and take delivery of your plane by December 31, and the Diamond team will buy down your fuel cost to $1.99 per gallon for the first 200 hours or 18 months, whichever comes first. The DA40 XLS is the savvy and responsible choice in this day and age of high fuel prices. For complete details, go online.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Northern Sky Aviation (KCOE, Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Not all great "FBO of the Week" recommendations start with a mechanical problem, but sometimes it's just such a problem that makes an AVweb reader realize how important good support can be when something goes awry during a trip. Case in point: Jim Dunn recently found himself repeating a maintenance misadventure that had befallen one of his buddies and decided to handle it the same way, by seeking help from the staff of Northern Sky Air Center at KCOE in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

I was hundreds of miles away when a Bonanza owner told me how Jay lent him a mag to get his sick Bonanza home. My experience has been the same. Jay Burdeaux and all the staff at Northern Sky Air Center always treat me like I'm a long-lost friend. They have great prices, experienced staff, and will greet you with a smile that extends from Idaho to Louisiana.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Jay and the staff of Northern Sky.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

Understanding Your Airplane's Mechanics Could Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance is the monthly magazine for aircraft owners who aren't satisfied with just flying. Aircraft repair can be simple when explained in concise, step-by-step details. If you want to truly learn about the workings of your airplane (and save a few dollars, too), Light Plane Maintenance is for you. Order online today and receive LPM's Top 40 Maintenance Tips as a gift.
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.


Lots of great photos this week — and while we'd love to talk about the recurring themes (lots of helicopters, in particular), we're a little behind the eightball following the NBAA Convention, so let's just dive right in!

medium | large

copyright © Kevin Stahl
Used with permission

Balloons Over Colorado Springs

No helicopters here, but Kevin Stahl of Ft. Wayne, Indiana serves up a balloon photo that's climbed all the way to the top of this week's pile almost on sheer volume alone. (No kidding, folks — that's a lot of hot air balloons!)

medium | large

Used with permission of John Mazurek

Julie Clark in the Sun (Lincoln, CA)

"October sunlight can be rewarding," writes John Mazurek of Roseville, California. Personally, we've tried to set the clocks back for two weekends in a row, so it's great hear the extra weeks of Daylight Saving Time are benefitting someone out there.

Problem solved! We've just printed out John's photo and stuck it to the official "POTW" World Headquarters Clock with a note that November 2 is the correct day to "fall back" in our part of the world.)

medium | large

copyright © Markus Gisel
Used with permission

Reflections on Flight

What can we say here but wow? Markus Gisel of Kindhausen (Canton of Zurich), Switzerland snapped this shot "when soaring in a Caproni Calif A-21S in the Dolomite Alps" in Italy.

Simply gorgeous. And now two hundred AVweb readers want to be Markus when they grow up ... .

medium | large

copyright © Ray Watts
Used with permission


Ray Watts of Midrand, Gauteng (South Africa) writes, "This is what happens behind closed hangar doors — they multiply." If only we could achieve this effect in our hangar ... .

medium | large

Used with permission of Timothy O'Connor

Ya'll Think He'll Get to Keep It After the Divorce?

Timothy O'Connor of Batavia, Ohio has a knack for suggesting photo captions, and we got such a kick out his question that we ran a composite of two photos he submitted of Randy Workman's Marchetti Autogyro, Honey-Do Hell. You can find the unaltered original here.

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights:
Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.

More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.